It was a typical evening of chaos in our house… work and school until after 4:00, afternoon routines of checking folders and homework and changing out of school clothes, cooking dinner as quickly as possible and wolfing it down so Kirby could get to the ball field on time, dishes, laundry… I think you get the point. A million things going on at one time, and all the while my mind was running through the list of things yet to be done before bedtime.
Suddenly the organized mass chaos was halted by a frantic scream from my youngest… “MAMA!!!” I dropped the dish towel and dashed across the house to find my blue-eyed angel in a heap on the floor, crying hysterically. At the sight of me, her sobs turned into pleas… “Mommy, hold me!” I scooped her up in my arms, sat on the couch, and promptly began to check her over for blood, bruises, cuts, bumps… any sign of a major injury. She looked at me with those tear-filled eyes, held her hand to my lips, and said, “Kiss it.” Well, who can resist such a demand? I complied, fully prepared to put her back on her feet and get back to my dishes, but much to my surprise she put one chubby arm around my neck and rested her head on my chest.
In that moment, the to-do list vanished. I was no longer concerned with dishes or laundry or lunchboxes. In that moment, all that mattered was holding my baby girl. As I listened to her slowed breathing and stroked her hair, I came to the realization that no task was more important than loving my child. While all of the mundane tasks I had yet to finish were important and even necessary, none of them compared with my daughter’s need to see and feel her mommy with her in her time of distress. All too soon she’ll be grown, no longer wanting Mommy to kiss her boo-boo’s and hold her on her lap. Yes, she’ll still need me, but the needs will be very different, and somehow not as innocent as her need to feel Mommy’s love right now.
Another thought entered my mind as we sat on the couch in silence, holding on to one another. How often I fall down in this crazy world, and I, too, am much like my daughter. I, too, call out for help. However, instead of calling out for the name of my mommy, I call on the name of my Heavenly Father. And much like my own response to my daughter, His response to me is always to reach out, scoop me up into His arms, and hold me. No matter how disobedient I’ve been, or how far I have strayed, He is always just a call away, waiting for me to tell Him that I need Him, waiting to shower me with His love.
As I get back to my dishes and my endless list of chores to finish, my prayer is that I won’t get consumed by my to-do list and forget to spend time with my Savior, and that I will cherish the moments when my children call on me for help. I pray that I will take time to sit and hold my daughters in my arms, to tell them they are special and beautiful and wonderfully made, to show them that I value the time I have with them. Most importantly, I pray that as they grow older and need me less, they’ll become increasingly aware of needing Him more, and that they, too, will learn to call on the name of the Lord.